Liberty Enlightening the World

Liberty Enlightening the World
La Liberté éclairant le monde

Monday 9 May 2011

Identifying Focus and Hierarchy


Introduction to Design Fundamentals


This lesson introduces you to design concepts that can maximize the effectiveness of your message by making it easier for the public to read and understand.

There are 3 Learning Activities associated with this lesson. Learning Activity 1 (LA 1) , Learning Activity 2 (LA 2) and Learning Activity 3 (LA3).

If you think you already know about this module, test your understanding with this checklist. If you can honestly answer all of them you're ready for the final assessment task. If you're not, simply work through the learning tasks, submitting them for feedback as you go until you feel you're ready.

What is Design?

There's no single word answer, because for one thing Design is a topic that has vast scope. Here's a “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” list of Design Disciplines (each topic takes you to that definition).

Wikipedia List of Design Disciplines

Here's a comprehensive list of professional disciplines that operate under the definition of "design". It's a big list:

Business design
aka Enterprise Architecture
New product development
Packaging design
Product design
Service design
Experience design
Game design
Interaction design
Software design
Software development
Software engineering
System design
User experience design
User interface design
Web accessibility
Web design
Book design
Color design
Communication design
Content design
Exhibition design
Graphic design
Information design
Instructional design
Motion graphic design
News design
Production design
Sound design
Theatrical design
Visual communication
Scientific & mathematical
Combinatorial design
Design of experiments
Architectural design
Architectural engineering
Automotive design
Cellular manufacturing
Ceramic and glass design
Design engineer
Environmental design
Fashion design
Floral design
Furniture design
Garden design
Industrial design
Interior design/redesign
Landscape architecture
Mechanical engineering
Sustainable design
Urban design

Web Design/ Multimedia Design

In this qualification we're chiefly concerned with web design, interface design, layout design and typographic design.

What you are trying to achieve with your design is "effective communication"; one of the ways to do this is by adhering to the Principles of Design.

The Principles of Design

Before you jump in and start designing it would help to understand some of the Principles of Design. These aren't like road rules for driving, they're more like guidelines.

Here's a great article that features examples & definitions of the Principles of Design (from a photography perspective but it's universal in application).

The Nokia forums expand on this in the context of mobile devices.

Here's another great resource on Principles of Design from the archives of (visit the 2010 Design Meltdown site in full, it's a great resource for web designers).

The Principles of Design are :

Focus (also known as dominance or emphasis. Focus goes hand-in-hand with clarity)
Proximity (where objects get close to each other)
Balance (where objects "balance each other out", suggesting stability)
Rhythm (also know as repetition)
Flow (see Gutenburg's how the eye tracks a path across your layout)
Unity (when a layout/design/ publication has a common colour/ typeface/ layout/ alignment)
Movement (where objects in a layout appear to be in motion; falling/ colliding/ pushing)
Contrast (colour, scale, style)

Australian National Anthem words

The words for the first verse of the Australian National Anthem are: Australians all let us rejoice, For we are young and free; We've golden soil and wealth for toil; Our home is girt by sea; Our land abounds in nature's gifts; Of beauty rich and rare; In history's page, let every stage Advance Australia Fair In joyful strains then let us sing, Advance Australia Fair.

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